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SMEs and IT Vendors: More Than Just Friends

Feature Article | November 16, 2017 by Paul Taylor

Small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) are looking for deeper relationships with IT vendors and say trust and mutual respect are more important than cost savings in these partnerships.

Small and medium sized businesses often lack the in-house IT resources and expertise of larger organizations, but they still need to use technology to compete, innovate and win in an increasingly competitive digital world.

So where do they go for technology advice and consultancy? A new survey published today and timed to coincide with SAP’s first Growth Matters Executive Roundtable in New York, found that SMEs rely heavily on IT vendors to advise them, help them grow and assess their needs and requirements.

But SMEs are seeking for more than simple recommendations from their IT vendors and suppliers – they are looking for true partnerships and they say trust and mutual respect are more important in these relationships than cost savings.

The SAP Business Partnership Study*, which polled 300 SMEs in the United States and 300 in Germany, revealed that three out of every four small and midsize enterprises see IT and technology vendors not just as an external resource but as vital to their business.

Based on the survey, 76 percent of respondents said they use technology vendors for consultation, 79 percent for insight and advice, and 76 percent to anticipate needs and risks.

The findings underscore the expanded role that IT vendors are expected to play by their small and medium sized businesses in the age of cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and the growing importance of partnerships and co-development.

Just as with personal relationships, more than three-fourths (80 percent) of business leaders surveyed said trust and cultural fit were significantly more important in their partnerships with IT vendors than cost savings.

To learn more, read the newsbyte: Survey Finds 80 Percent of SMEs Value Trust Over Cost When Choosing a Technology Partner

*The SAP Business Partnership Study survey was conducted online by Research Now on behalf of SAP in October 2017 and consisted of feedback from 300 IT decision-makers from SMEs (100–4,999 employees) in the United States and 300 in Germany. Companies surveyed represented a variety of industries, including professional services, consumer product goods, retail, wholesale and manufacturing. All analyses were performed by FH Global Intelligence. The full results can be found here.

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